The Fresh Loaf

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Yeast problems.

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Tracy Fitz's picture
Tracy Fitz

Yeast problems.

Hi All


I need some help please.


 


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2984/jasons-quick-coccodrillo-ciabatta-bread


 


I would like to try this recipe but am unsure about the yeast quantity that I might need. It calls for 2 tsp of yeast. Am I being silly, but that is for dried yeast isn't it? I used fast/quick action yeast - will that be okay?


 


Any advice would be greatly received.


 


Tracy

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

My experience with Red Star Quick Rise yeast was it performed the same as my first jar of Kroger store brand Bread Machine yeast, which perfrorms the same as the bulk(1 lb) SAF Red Instant yeast that I now use.


I believe Fleischman's(website) also all but right out says it's Rapid Rise yeast is the same as their instant yeast.


Yes, all these yeasts should work fine with Jason's recipe. In the popular video, linked many times in the Jason's thread, SAF Red instant yeast is used, IIRC.


Good luck.

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

But any quick rise or instant yeast should work for you.  I have also used Active Dry yeast in this recipe and it has also worked, I just add the salt after the dough has rested for about 10 minutes upon first mixing up.  Gives active yeast a chance to start working - adding salt can kill your yeast, so you want to make sure your yeast has a chance to activate. 


If you use instant yeast, you never have to worry about it, however.  Yeast is pretty much yeast.. stores sell either instant or active.. I prefer instant because I'm lazy and just throw everything in all at once.  I'm too impatient or in a hurry to activate my Active Dry yeast.

Tracy Fitz's picture
Tracy Fitz

Thanks for all the advice.


 


Can I just check on the quantity of dried yeast that I need please. He calls for 2 tsp, so how would I translate that into a dried quantity?

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Sorry if it was confusing.  2 tsp is 2 tsp.. whether you're using Active Dry yeast or instant yeast.. for this recipe it's the same.  Use instant for more reliable results.  If you use active dry, add the salt in after the 10 minute rest.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

If a recipe calls for instant yeast and you have active dry yeast, use 1/3rd more active dry yeast.


If a recipe calls for active dry yeast and you have instant yeast, use 75% of the amount.


That said, all yeast is not equal.  I've been using a store brand of active dry yeast for several months.  Recently I got suspicious about it's activity - it froths when proofed but seemed somehow anemic in actual practice.  So yesterday I tossed the remaining T or so of it and started in on the active dry yeast I got from Costco which is Red Star brand.


The difference was immediately obvious.  When proofed (and you DO NOT HAVE TO PROOF ACTIVE DRY YEAST before using it, that's an old wives tale) it activated much faster and with more vigor.  I use my bread machine to do nearly all my kneading (otherwise I use my KA mixer).  I went ahead and added the new yeast with the water and it was INSANE how much more the dough was rising.  I will not add the yeast with the water for that recipe again, and I suspect the new yeast will solve a lot of the problems with rising (or lack thereof) I was having with my bread doughs.


Also , the Red Star yeast is much more finely granulated than the grocery store brand yeast, noticeably so even given that both are tiny granules.


Incidentally, the expiration date on the grocery store brand yeast was Oct 2011, so it wasn't nearly expired.  On the other hand, I suspect this grocery store it rather careless in its handling of produce - yesterday my son had to go through I-am-not-kidding EIGHTEEN egg cartons before he could find one without unbroken eggs.  So if you are having trouble with your yeast, try a different brand - and if that doesn't work, switch to a different store.

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

As I said above, in this particular recipe... it doesn't matter which type of yeast you use.  This ciabatta dough doesn't lend itself to much of a high rise, so it's not really that concerning if you use instant or active dry or how much of either type.   I've used both instant and active dry and 2 tsp of either type will work giving excellent results.  The measure difference is hardly going to matter in this bread formula.  The only caveat with this formula is that if you're using active dry, make sure your liquids are a bit warmer and you wait after the initial rest to add the salt.  I have made this bread most likely 100 times in the past couple of years.. the only time I've ever had an issue with it is when I've used active dry yeast and I've added my salt at the beginning instead of after the 10 minute initial mix. 


I do have to disagree with your suggestion that you do not have to proof active dry yeast.  I agree, you probably don't HAVE to, but I believe you should.. and I say this for a couple of reasons:  First, by proofing you are activating the dormant yeast and you can actually see if it's working BEFORE you go to all the time and expense of baking bread and not having it rise properly (you mentioned yours bubbled and looked active, although it really wasn't... your experience is not the rule, but the exception in my opinion).  Also, just because it's not overly foamy doesn't necessarily make it a bad batch.. but usually activity is a good indicator that the yeast is active and ready to use.


Secondly, if you activate your yeast during the mixing process, you're not giving your yeast enough time to properly dissolve and release it's gasses evenly.  Some bakers don't actually activate it, but they do hydrate it.  It's much easier to release active cells in a liquid where there is less resistance than releasing in a more resistant dough.  It dissolves fully and evenly distributed into your dough.  When you just toss in your yeast, you run the risk of leaving pockets of yeasty flavor, poor gluten development, etc.  With that said, there is no rule that says you must activate your yeast in water or other liquid - but at the end of the day, it is 5 minutes of my time well spent. 


Finally, if you don't want to activate your yeast then why bother using Active Dry yeast?  Why not just use instant?  Unless a recipe specifically calls for it... it doesn't make alot of sense.


Over the years of my baking, I've found some yeasts that work better than others.  For instants, I love SAF Red for my breads and SAF Gold for my sweet doughs.  Red Star Active Dry is made by Lesaffre Yeast Co., the same company that makes SAF.  It's a good brand, but I've never had problems with any brand really.  Many old school bakers won't use anything but fresh cake yeast.. I love to use it when I can find it, but it is difficult to find.


There is an interesting discussion about yeast here:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2815/active-yeast-vs-instant-yeast


Good luck with that Ciabatta.. I'm off to bake some garlic knots.  Enjoy!

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

In 45 years in the kitchen, I've never had active dry yeast go "bad" before the expiration date - in fact I've been able to use properly stored (as in well-sealed and frozen) active dry yeast for a couple of years PAST the expiration date.


I do proof when I first open it (or when I refill out of the freezer), but this is the ONLY time I've felt the need to proof it after that (assuming it's been properly stored in the meantime).  Whatever was going on with this one batch of yeast was not apparent in a proofing test anyway, but I'd had enough problems recently, had new stuff on hand anyway, and there really wasn't much left of the old, so in this case it seemed worthwhile to toss the old and switch to the new.


It really depends on the recipe you are using.  If the recipe is of fairly recent vintage and wants you to actually proof the yeast (as opposed to just dissolving it in water) first, go ahead and do that; but many modern recipes are not written this way.  For those recipes that do not specifically call for that step, and even for many that do (this is a hold over from the days when yeast meant fresh yeast with a short shelf life, measured at best in a couple of weeks), it really isn't necessary.  In fact doing so with the new "better" yeast would have the bread climbing out of the mixing bowl (DID have the bread climbing out of the mixing bowl) for a recipe that did not call for proofing the yeast.


If you're having trouble with rise and you've checked other things (like the protein content of your flour, temperature, hydration) it might make sense to give pre-dissolving an active dry yeast a try even in a recipe that does not call for it; but in the normal course of things, a full proof really isn't necessary.  The fact that I had been having to do that with the old "bad" yeast should have been a clue to me that there was something wrong with it, but since it seemed to pass the "proofing" test, I kept using it.  Should have tossed it earlier, but things are back to normal now.  And that means not having to proof the ADY every time I use it.


As for the measurement conversion, those ratios are long-established and thoroughly tested.  No, it probably won't hurt anything if you use 2 tsp instead of 1.5 tsp, or vv, but why use more than you need to, or risk using less than is indicated?  Yeast is only cheap if you can get it by the pound from a place like Sam's Club or Costco!  Plus, with the way this current batch of yeast is behaving, a little extra would be too much.  It's already super-active, LOL!


If it's a tried and true recipe and you have a good handle on how the yeast you are using behaves and you are confident of what you are doing, maybe getting a bit creative with the amount of yeast you're using is OK for you.


But for people who are trying out a new recipe, or who don't have a good feeling for what is "normal" as far as 1st and 2nd rises (etc), I don't see the harm in at least letting people know what the recommended substititution ratios are for active and instant dry yeast.  If you choose to follow those guidelines, then that's one less thing to worry about if things don't come out quite the way you had hoped.

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

I did not mean to imply you created any harm in suggesting differences of measure between instant and active dry yeast.  Of course not.  In reality, you can cut most basic recipe yeast measures down and still get a good rise - albeit slower perhaps.  I also did not suggest that what you do with your yeast, doesnt give you results.  I'm sure that it works for you.  Unfortunately, cutting corners doesn't always work out well and there is nothing more frustrating for a baker to get through a bread cycle only to learn that yeast is not performing as it should. In my opinion, proofing active dry yeast is a good habit to get into - especially if you're new to baking.  If someone would rather not spend 5 minutes doing it, that's their option, of course, but then perhaps instant yeast would be a better option.  It is the yeast I use most often and most new or modern recipes these days call for it - simply for the dependability factor and to avoid problems like you have experienced.  I am not a big fan of proofing either, but it has saved me headaches and frustration by taking a few minutes and doing it properly.   


However, my initial response was to this particular recipe and the specific question this poster had about the yeast.  I wasn't intending to suggest that you can substitute instant for active, measure to measure for all recipes.  But for Jason's Ciabatta - 2 tsp of instant or active dry.. it really and honestly makes absolutely no difference. 

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Well not proofing yeast in recipes that don't call for it hardly counts as "cutting corners", LOL!

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

Wow..  not at all what I said or implied.  No offense, but you interpret posts in your own "unique" way.  Time to chill and maybe let this drop.  It's going nowhere but seems only to frustrate you.  It's cool really.. but seriously time to move on.  Its a yeast discussion.. not world peace.  LOL

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Then say what you mean, instead of what you don't mean.  People can hardly be expected to read your mind.


What did you mean by "cutting corners" then, since it immediately followed on a discussion of whether or not you need to proof ADY every time you use it, a step that is entirely unneccessary if you are properly storing unexpired ADY.  Straighten me out here.

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

I really don't have the energy to straighten you out - I think trying to do so would be futile when I already feel my post was quite clear.  Besides, this is another persons discussion and it is somewhat rude to continue with a sub-discussion that is not directly related to her initial post.  If you don't understand my posts, then I just can't help you.  My reply initially was to this poster and that's all that's important.  The question was answered and really I'm not going to lose any sleep because you use yeast differently from me or anyone else for that matter. I have a busy day and plan to move forward tackling more important matters.  Good luck.


 

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

More power to you then.  LOL!